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Following sharp criticism from analysts, Microsoft has quickly backed away from its previous announcement that placed a six-month limit on XP downgrades after the release of Windows 7. Michael Silver of Gartner earlier in the week described the limitation as potentially causing a "real mess," as the software maker typically provides a wider time frame for enterprises to transition between operating systems.
Sony at a Blu-ray focused event tonight launched the VAIO NW, a major overhaul of its entry-level notebook. The system has the distinction of being one of the least expensive systems with Blu-ray and has an unusual 15.5-inch, 1366x768 display that can show most HD movies at their native ratio. A textured lid and a translucent trackpad also lend it a designer look.
Speaking at an Executives Club event in Chicago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed that a new Xbox 360 is expected to ship sometime in 2010. The upcoming system is described as utilizing technology "really, really, close" to an actuality, with the integration of a "natural interface" and a built-in camera. The sparse details may corroborate rumors that the next Xbox will be revamped with the company's Project Natal system.
In the short period of time since the Palm Pre launch, the company's App Catalog has surpassed 660,000 downloads, according to numbers gathered by Medialets. The number of apps started at 18 on the first day of availability, with 30 titles included by the end of the first week. Most of the content remains in beta for now, except for MotionApps' Classic.
Research in Motion today reported results for its spring quarter that show the company's growth in smartphones cooling down. The company shipped 7.8 million BlackBerries between March and May, or exactly as many as it moved in winter. About 3.8 million of these, or just under half, were new BlackBerry subscribers instead of replacements.
Acer in Japan on Thursday announced the release of two new LCD monitors that have an emphasis on eco-friendliness with power consumption ratings that are reduced by 36 percent compared to previous models. The 19-inch Acer V193WBbmd and 22-inch Acer V223WBbmd both offer a 5ms response time, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and 300cd/m2 brightness.
Samsung today claimed to be the first with a 32GB DDR3 RAM stick. The record device comes by using a 50 nanometer manufacturing process to produce 16 gigabit (2GB) stacked memory chips, nine of which are put on each side of the stick to provide the 32GB plus a certain degree of overhead. Despite the sheer amount of memory, Samsung is keen to observe that the 1.35V example uses about 20 percent less power than previous memory, which normally uses 1.5V of energy.
An unofficial report says all BlackBerry devices will get the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) messaging service that allows owners of the devices to communicate with one another when the 5.0 version of the operating system for the devices is released. The updated BlackBerry Messenger will reportedly support avatars, integrate GPS functionality, including proximity sensing of other BlackBerry-toting friends, add the ability to group conversations by subject and get a homescreen shortcut for messenger contacts.
A leaked series of screen captures indicate wireless provider T-Mobile will be adding more than just the Dash 3G to its device lineup on July 15th. A new handset, the Samsung Highlight, is expected to join the range at that point as well. The mid-level device will sport a touchscreen of unknown proportions, as well as Bluetooth connection, a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus and video recording, as well as a GPS sensor.
LG will launch not one but three Android phones before the year is out, the company said at the CommunicAsia technology show this week. The company had already said it planned to have at least one but now says that the multiple handsets could arrive as soon as late summer or early fall. They won't necessarily be high-end devices, however, and as a consequence may not have a version of the cube-like S-Class 3D interface used on the Arena, GD900 and other devices.
Microsoft quickly ended speculation today by confirming that it's shipping Xbox 360 Arcade units with 512MB of storage. The company tells Eurogamer that the extra capacity is there to "enjoy more experiences" on Xbox Live that include both essential saved game space as well as downloadable content and smaller Xbox Live Arcade games. It's not known if the 512MB version will be standard worldwide or only show in specific areas.
Maingear recently introduced a high-end version of its Axess HD Gamer PC, which is meant to sit in users' living rooms as hinted at by its low-profile black aluminum case and front-mounted OLED display that shows song and artist or movie title information. It is the first PC to ship with the Phantom Lapboard wireless gaming keyboard. The highly-customizable PC ships with an Intel Core i7 CPU and up to 12GB of RAM, as well as dual NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT graphics cards in an SLI configuration.
Toshiba and NEC together said today that they would extend their agreement with IBM to produce 28 nanometer chip technology. The deal sees the members of the larger alliance continuing to work on the smaller, more efficient technology with the intention of using it for home user products. They now also say they expected 28nm to be particularly useful for "mobile communication devices" such as smartphones.
US Cellular on Thursday announced it will soon begin offering the Samsung Axle flip phone. The entry-level handset sports a VGA camera, a Bluetooth connection, a speakerphone and a voice dialing feature. Little other information is known about the handset, other than that it will have two color displays, with a battery life rated at four hours of talk time.
Intel is having enough success with its 32 nanometer manufacturing process that it plans to skip certain 45nm processors entirely, tips from within the mainboard industry. Rather than produce Havendale, the 45nm dual-core, desktop processor based on the Nehalem architecture, the company is purportedly ready to skip to its 32nm equivalent, Clarkdale. The new chips would arrive slightly later, in early 2010 instead of late 2009, and would be priced between $60 and $190 depending on clock speed and features.
At the Infocomm show in Florida on Wednesday, Panasonic showed off an 85-inch, 1080p plasma display based on the company's NeoPDP technology. Meant for use in business presentations and as an electronic billboard, the display lacks a TV tuner of any kind. The display is four times larger than a typical 42-inch HDTV. The static contrast ratio is rated at 40,000:1, while the dynamic ratio jumps to an extremely high 2,000,000:1.
T-Mobile UK has made a Twitter announcement on Thursday regarding its second smartphone powered by Google's Android operating system, revealing little other than its name. Due to be called G1 Touch, it is widely believed the device will be based on Huawei's recently introduced Android-powered U8230, as promised by Huawei representatives earlier this year. If this proves true, the device will sport a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera and integrated Wi-Fi.
Having only recently introduced a regular version of the LCD to North America, LG is now shipping a 3D edition of the 47LH50 in South Korea. The 47-inch TV requires special glasses, but handles processing on its own when displaying supported 3D content. The set is also classified under the XCanvas brand in Korea.
Microsoft today marked the release of its newest portable wireless mouse meant for netbook users, the Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000, which uses the company's BlueTrack technology. Like higher-end devices, the mouse's blue tracker laser is said to perform equally well on smooth surfaces such as granite or uneven ones including carpet and unfinished wood. The 2.4GHz Nano USB transceiver sticks out less than 0.4 inches from a notebook, making it possible to keep the adapter plugged in while traveling.
Demand for smartphones has reached an all-time high thanks to iPhones and the Palm Pre but is hurting the BlackBerry as a result, according to new data from ChangeWave. A mid-June study from the research group has 14.4 percent of those tracked looking to buy some kind of smartphone within the next 90 days, a record high and a large jump from 11.2 percent in March. Of these, a full 44 percent now plan to buy an iPhone compared to 30 percent just three months earlier.
Flash storage and DRAM memory maker Super Talent on Thursday announced it has released its MasterDrive SX solid state drive lineup with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacity drives. All are designed for speed and have an unusually large 128MB of cache, an 8-channel controller and a Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND design that promises density along with speed. The 64GB MasterDrive SX SSD is rated at 200MBps read speeds and 120MBps write speeds, while the larger capacity versions can manage 220MBps read and 200MBps sequential write speeds.
Nikon's D300s and a replacement for the D60 could be introduced at two separate events if a claim made today is accurate. German photography publication Kamera & Bild says that separate press events on July 30th and August 4th will introduce each camera. No additional news about the cameras accompanies the supposedly confirmed launches.
A rumor early on Thursday suggests that Nokia could remove copy protection from all its music services within the next year. Claimed sources for ME say the smartphone maker will switch its pay-per-download store from locking songs with Windows Media protection to unguarded MP3s by late this year. Tellingly, Comes With Music would also reportedly make the switch and would do so sometime in 2010, giving users a year of unlimited downloads they could move to any device, including iPhones and iPods.
Verizon this morning added a new 3G adapter intended just for international travelers in the Novatel USB1000 Global Modem. The provider's first USB stick of the sort should provide 3G both inside and outside of the US without locking them into notebooks with ExpressCard slots. Neither Novatel nor Verizon are specific about feature support, though it's implied the device may support EVDO on Verizon's network and HSPA in Europe and elsewhere.
Motorola today leapt into the field of bone conduction Bluetooth headsets and launched the Endeavor HX1. Like the Aliph Jawbone and a few rivals, the HX1 captures the vibrations from the jaw for voice, letting users speak in a normal tone in loud environments. Unlike the Jawbone, though, this mode is optional and can be dropped in favor of a microphone.
Logitech on Thursday took its music add-ons cross-platform and unveiled the Wireless Guitar Controller for the Xbox 360. The controller switches to a brighter orange body from the PS3 edition's black but shares the same concept of a premium alternative to the stock peripheral for Guitar Hero: aside from a solid body, it has a wooden neck, rosewood for its fingerboard and metal frets. Using real materials, along with touch-sensitive strum bar and Star Power controls, reduces the clicks and other noises that intrude into actual game music.
Sirius XM early today launched its promised Sirius XM Premium Online app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The free software gives either of Apple's devices access to almost all of Sirius' and XM's stations as long as they have an active Internet-enabled subscription to one of the two. Songs can be tagged to buy through iTunes; channels can also be tagged as favorites or browsed while still listening to a single feed.
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